Federal Policy Priorities for Creating Affordable Homes and
Ending Homelessness in NJ

Coronavirus - The Housing & Community Development Network of NJ supports the recommendations of the National Low Income Housing Coalition led were part of the ‘‘Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act,” that passed the House on May 15, 2020. The HEROES Act provides $200 billion in housing and homelessness resources, including:

  • The “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act” to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help keep the lowest-income and most marginalized renters stably housed.
  • A national, uniform moratorium on evictions for nearly all renters for one year.
  • $11.5 billion in homeless assistance grants to help prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness.
  • Nearly $13 billion in additional funding for HUD and USDA housing providers and the residents they serve, including $1 billion in new, emergency housing vouchers.

For more details on the HEROES Act, see NLIHC’s analysis.

We support the following appropriations and policy changes in the HUD fiscal year 2021 (FY21) budget:

  • McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants - Support $2.8 billion for Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program
  • Medicaid
    • Oppose any replacement of the Affordable Care Act that eliminates Medicaid expansion
    • Raise the important role Medicaid expansion plays in ensuring people experiencing homelessness receive critical healthcare services
  • HOME Investment Partnerships – Increase funding to $1.75 billion
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers – Ensure funding to renew all vouchers currently in use and support 500,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers over 5 years to enable low income families with young children to move into communities with greater opportunities as part of the bi-partisan Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act, S3083.
  • National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) - Expand the National Housing Trust Fund to at least $5 billion as part of any infrastructure package and $3.5 billion annually in comprehensive housing finance reform.
  • Fair Housing – Increase funding to ensure effective fair housing enforcement and provide the necessary resources to assist jurisdictions comply with the Fair Housing Act, including their duty to affirmatively further fair housing.
  • Protecting HUD Residents – Fully fund the Public Housing operating budget and address the $50 billion backlog in Public Housing capital improvement needs.
  • Housing Counseling - Increase the FY 2021 funding for Housing Counseling back to at least $60 million.

We support the following legislation:

  • Eviction Crisis Act of 2019 (S3030) this bi-partisan legislation reduces preventable evictions and limits the devastation to families when eviction is unavoidable. The bill would create a national database to standardize data and track evictions, in order to better inform policy decisions; establish an Emergency Assistance Fund to provide short-term financial assistance and housing stability-related services to eviction-vulnerable tenants; and require consumer reporting agencies to provide consumers with tenant screening reports when they are requested as part of a rental application process, so tenants can contest and correct inaccurate or incomplete information.
  • Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act (S3083) This bi-partisan bill will create an additional 500,000 housing vouchers specifically designed for low-income families with young children to expand their access to neighborhoods of opportunity with high-performing schools, strong job prospects, and other resources. This legislation could largely eliminate homelessness among families with young children, as well as substantially reduce the number of children growing up in areas of concentrated poverty. 
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit/LIHTC) - Expand and strengthen the Housing Credit to increase the availability of safe and affordable housing and revitalize local economies Support the bi-partisan (S.1703/H.R.3077) to increase low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) authority by 50% phased in over 5 years.
  • Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act (S1172/H.R. 3211) - Support this bi-partisan legislation to create to make recommendations to Congress on how to use affordable housing to improve the effectiveness of other federal programs and improve life outcomes.

For more information, please contact Arnold Cohen, Senior Policy Director at 609-393-3752 x1600/[email protected] or Matt Hersh, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at 609-393-3752 x1100/[email protected] Updated 5.18.2020